The Legitimation of International Organizations: Introducing a New Dataset

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Henning Schmidtke
  • Niklas Krösche
  • Swantje Schirmer
  • Tobias Lenz
This article introduces a new dataset on international organizations’ (IOs) justifications of their authority. For a long time, IOs were believed to derive legitimacy from member state consent and technocratic problem-solving capacities. Over the past decades, the growing politicization of IOs, political polarization within Western democracies, and power shifts in the international system have spurred IOs’ efforts to justify their right to rule, using a variety of self-legitimation practices. While research on the theory and practice of legitimation has grown considerably over the past decade, much of this work builds on case studies of prominent global and regional IOs. As a result, we lack data suitable for systematic comparative analyses across time, IOs, and world regions. The LegRO dataset aims to narrow this gap, providing data on the standards, intensity, and modes of self-legitimation for 28 regional IOs from 1980 to 2019. These variables inform theoretical and policy-relevant research on contemporary global governance by providing the first systematic overview of IOs’ self-legitimation practices.
ZeitschriftInternational Studies Perspectives
Seiten (von - bis)86-110
Anzahl der Seiten25
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.02.2024

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Leibniz Association under its “Leibniz-Junior Research Groups” scheme (grant number J31/2017). Tobias Lenz leads the research group.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s) (2023). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Studies Association.